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1.Compare and contrast euthanasia laws in the UK and Luxembourg. How have society's morals and attitudes affected the laws in each case?

2.Write a reflective account of your experience in researching the topic above. You must make reference to the following points:

What skills have you developed through the completion?

How could you use these skills in a future legal role as a legal executive? 

Euthanasia in Luxembourg

Euthanasia in general defined as allowing a person to die for his own well-being. Euthanasia means “pleasant death”. In UK, there are two things, which have discussed from years “Active euthanasia” and “Passive euthanasia”. In UK, there is no special position or recognition of euthanasia whereas in Luxembourg assisted suicide, euthanasia is legal where the person is suffering from very unbearable and painful illness.

In this writing, the discussion will relate to euthanasia and its legality status in UK and Luxembourg. All the pros and cons related to euthanasia and related concepts like assisted suicide in detailed form. The contradicting policies what makes them different and with a conclusion at the end.

Luxembourg

In 2009, Luxembourg successfully became the third country after Belgium and Netherlands to legalize the concept of euthanasia and assisted suicide. To make the concept legal it was a very tough debate to do as because the Christians were highly against the concept of euthanasia, following various vigorous discussions. Being a major Catholic country, the medicine practitioners were highly disappointed and against the whole concept. Moreover, were not supportive regarding this legislation. During that, the time the head of state- Grand duke Henri completely denied and did not have consent over signing the bill on legalizing euthanasia by saying that it is against the constitution. The parliament of Luxembourg with full consent voted for this law to be enforced[1].  However, there are still in many cases where euthanasia is not allowed and therefore it cannot be said that euthanasia is fully applied in Luxembourg[2].

In the UK the concept of killing one own, self is illegal. If anyone happens to do that even attempts to do that then the person will be liable to face all the criminal charges in their names and as a result, penalized as murder or manslaughter in the UK; hence, the maximum punishment for this is life imprisonment. The Christians has a philosophy that no one can take decisions taken by god. If God is doing something then one should follow that regardless of the pain or suffering made[3]. In R v Cox[4] case, Mr. Cox had been charged for the murder of his client who is going through a terminal illness. Many people for showing humane act had praised Mr. Cox. However, the criminal law sees as different and he had been held liable for the murder[5].

Although there countries in Europe which have legalized the same, whereas, in the UK committing suicide is not less than committing a sin altogether. However, in recent years there has been an increase in a number of suits filed regarding this as this considered as putting restrictions against the right to life and liberty of an individual[6]. In R (on the application of Purdy) v DPP[7] case, Purdy who was suffering from multiple sclerosis and it has no cure. She wants assistance to do suicide of her husband and therefore she has filed a plea in the court.

Euthanasia in the UK

The main reasons for influencing euthanasia:-

  • In today’s scenario, it is one such topic, which is genuinely in need by the persons who are suffering badly. Hence, it is been asked by the required patients. Opponents argued this by saying that sometimes it has been misused.
  • The loved ones of the person or the family too cannot watch their loved one in the situation and therefore demands euthanasia. However sometimes seems it liability and not sees as for their loved ones. Many have opposed it as it is against the societal values, god has given life and it cannot be end by our choice.
  • Right to live life with personal liberty is fundament right and thus it is very natural to take the decision in regards to person own life and well- being.
  • Possible to regulate euthanasia as it is a private matter and not related to others, hence no one has the right to interfere in the same.
  • Euthanasia in any scenario will happen either directly or indirectly.
  • People have all the freedom to try to make their suffering as less as possible, hence can make it less miserable for them and their family too[8]

Consequently, euthanasia became legal in Luxembourg and if a person wants to die then he has the authority to do the same in the supervision of two doctors and an expert panel. In addition, doctors who carry out euthanasia and assisted suicide would not penalize for the same offence. No civil, as well as criminal charges will be there. Although there are some disadvantages too but when it comes to lessen the peoples pain then few disadvantages can be adjusted too[9].

When it comes to society, it has both the point of view just as a coin has both the sides and it is not certain that every time heads will come or vice versa. Thus, First in the UK there is no provision of legalizing the concept of euthanasia or any related theory. The government does not allow taking your own life as because this will have a direct impact on their personal fundamental laws which needs protection at any cost that is right to life. The country suggests that it is against the policies, moreover, god has its own plans and no creature whether man or animal allowed to break it. If God has given the gift of life, then no one else is above god and hence, no one has the authority to break that law or rule[10].

Whereas in Luxembourg euthanasia is legal along with this assisted suicide is also legal. The government in 2009 legalized this concept and said that every individual has its own life and personal liberty. When he has right of everything in life then why to take away the right to kill own self and that too only when- when the person is suffering from such illness in which the pain has become intolerable and it is not curable. Hence, in those conditions/circumstances, the person can easily take the decision for his own health. Society as a whole can in fact make sure that the workings are proper or not. Moreover, can ask the doctor to do his duty properly and not to commit unnecessary deaths when it can be cured, else the person has to be bear the consequences.

Conclusion

Through this writing, the conclusion is that euthanasia can be legal if the government and the hospital officials work in a proper manner. The concept is favorable as it is genuinely reducing the pain that one cannot even bear. Imagining that one is asking to die, the level of pain he was suffering from. 

Pros and Cons of Euthanasia

The revolution started in many countries around the globe and Luxembourg came out as a brilliant example of unity as a nation that forced the government to legalize such legislation. Thus, it is possible to regulate the laws regarding this and it can be successful too without any false happening[11].

Regardless of all the opinion of different people and governments, my personal choice would be to legalize the concept of euthanasia. As this would resolve so many problems of the people suffering badly which is unbearable. In my personal view, god has given us all the right to live our lives with dignity and pride and if we want to end it with dignity in the way, we wanted then why not! There is no harm in asking for something, which is already is ours and needs no permission for the same. Every individual has its own opinion and thoughts to live his/her life on their own terms then how can one expect to die with permission. When did it become so important to ask for the most important decision of life to others?

In my opinion the concept is very useful and helpful for not only the person who is suffering but for his/her family, friends and acquaintances. To see our family, friends in pain make us ourselves more pathetic then to the suffering that a person goes through. All he/she wants is to die peacefully and avoid every situation that is very dreadful and painful for him and the people around him/her. Making euthanasia legal in every nation will make physicians and experts more lenient towards their patients and sometimes less attentive to their health. In fact, there is a notion that if it becomes legal then in that case if a person can easily recover slowly/gradually and still doctor does euthanasia, in that scenario, it assumed that he/she died due to carelessness of physician. Moreover, this creates a huge chaos between the medical fraternity and trust of people on the legislation.

In my opinion, euthanasia should have some basic and fixed ground rules on which it shall do to the patients. Therefore, there shall be transparency and accountability maintained. Also, there shall be some strict laws and provisions provided with the wrongful acts to be punished, in order to maintain the criminal acts. The doctor and the complete medical fraternity have a duty to perform in such a manner that no life should be gone unnecessary. There is a saying that no innocent life should be gone ever through any of the means and profession by any professional. A person’s life is very precious to many lives attached to him/her. Therefore, in my perception this is a very critical topic to have discussion on and needs more attention from the government’s side. Moreover, it should be legal but in a certain way that is up to a fix level or a bar should be fix that if a person has declared that no time has left to him in any manner by a panel of expertise. In the manner a standard will maintained, no mishap will occur, and hence, no loss will be there on the families and the deceased himself or herself. In addition, it will encourage the doctors to work in an ethical and legal manner that is necessary.

Andriy Danyliv, 'Attitudes towards legalising physician provided euthanasia in Britain'[2015] 128 Social Science & Medicine 52-56

De lima, liliana, et al. '"International Association for Hospice and Palliative Care position statement: euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide" ' [2017] 20(1) Journal of palliative medicine 8-14

Guardian Staff, Euthanasia and assisted suicide laws around the world (The Guardian, 2018) < https://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/jul/17/euthanasia-assisted-suicide-laws-world>

Margaret Brazier, “Euthenasia and the Law”  (Watermak Silverchair, 2018) <https://watermark.silverchair.com/52-2-317.pdf?>  accessed 30 October 2018

MD Health, “Positive Side of Physician Assisted suicide” (MD Health), <https://www.md-health.com/Physician-Assisted-Suicide-Pros.html> accessed 30 October 2018

Owen Bowcott, Terminally ill UK man launches legal challenge for right to die (The Guardian, 2018) <https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/jan/06/terminally-ill-uk-man-launches-legal-challenge-for-right-to-die> accessed 30 October 2018

R (on the application of Purdy) v DPP(2009) UKHL 45

R v Cox (1992) 12 BMLR 38

Radbruch Lukas, '"Euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide: a white paper from the European Association for Palliative Care" ' [2016] 30(2) Journal of palliative medicine 104-116.

Rita Marker, '“Patients suffering at end of life” ' (Pro & Con, 2018) <https://euthenasia.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=000126 > accessed 30 October 2018

The Guardian, My Death is not my own: the limit of legal euthanasia (The Guardian, 2018) <https://www.theguardian.com/news/2018/aug/10/my-death-is-not-my-own-the-limits-of-legal-euthanasia>accessed 30 October 2018

[1] Guardian Staff, Euthanasia and assisted suicide laws around the world (The Guardian, 2018) < https://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/jul/17/euthanasia-assisted-suicide-laws-world>

[2] The Guardian, My Death is not my own: the limit of legal euthanasia (The Guardian, 2018) <https://www.theguardian.com/news/2018/aug/10/my-death-is-not-my-own-the-limits-of-legal-euthanasia>accessed 30 October 2018

[3] Owen Bowcott, Terminally ill UK man launches legal challenge for right to die (The Guardian, 2018) <https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/jan/06/terminally-ill-uk-man-launches-legal-challenge-for-right-to-die> accessed 30 October 2018

[4] (1992) 12 BMLR 38                                                                                                                 

[5] MD Health, “Positive Side of Physician Assisted suicide” (MD Health), <https://www.md-health.com/Physician-Assisted-Suicide-Pros.html> accessed 30 October 2018

[6] De lima, liliana, et al. '"International Association for Hospice and Palliative Care position statement: euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide" ' [2017] 20(1) Journal of palliative medicine 8-14

[7] (2009) UKHL 45

[8] Rita Marker, '“Patients suffering at end of life” (Pro & Con, 2018) <https://euthenasia.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=000126 > accessed 30 October 2018

[9] Margaret Brazier. “Euthenasia and the Law” (Watermak Silverchair, 2018) https://watermark.silverchair.com/52-2-317.pdf?  accessed 30 October 2018

[10] Radbruch Lukas, '"Euthanasia And Physician-Assisted Suicide: A White Paper From The European Association For Palliative Care"' (2016) 30 (2) Journal of palliative medicine.

[11] Andriy Danyliv, 'Attitudes towards legalising physician provided euthanasia in Britain'[2015] 128 Social Science & Medicine 52-56

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